Following on from Ruth Hetherington’s in depth look at the Britpop movement (https://razzmag.co.uk/2021/11/28/britpop-a-retrospective), RAZZ writer Sylvia Hanlon has created a playlist to go alongside the article, selecting songs that she thinks defined the movement.
This playlist to me captures the energy of the patriotic musical movement in 90s Britain. Valuing culture, each song is a constant reminder of the little niches of Britain and serves as an emphasis of such Britishness. This was a reaction to the dark sounds coming out of the US and instead, Britpop gave us shiny choruses that helped a generation through the spotlighted political climate of the 1990s as it had a large role in Tony Blair’s landslide 1997 victory as Britpop and New Labour became intertwined. With Oasis and Blur being rivals at the time it is hard not to include them in the playlist. “Live Forever” by Oasis is one of my favourite songs of theirs but as the playlist shows, I am on team Blur as they dominate with songs such as “Beetlebum”, “Girls & Boys” and of course “Parklife”. Radiohead’s “Just” is especially one of my favourites as it shows their progression as we have seen a shift in their music in their later discography. Pulp’s “Common People” with its satirical take on class exemplifies the labour-centric vibes of Brit Pop. Moving on, I included Stone Roses because it could be argued that without them, there wouldn’t be Britpop because the most celebrated bands of the time were inspired by them and with songs like “Fools Gold” I’m not surprised. “Loaded” by Primal Scream as an indie dance song represents Britain in the 90s through the social commentary laced within the song. Suede helped launch the Britpop scene and would become a leader in the scene. Finally, Elastica, created by former Suede band members would show us a band including multiple women and lead by a woman charting in a male-dominated scene. Their song “Connection” did well overseas and in America showing that Britpop did not just appeal to just Britain but the world.
— Sylvia Hanlon